Donald Russell SaegaertWarrant Officer
118TH AVN CO, 145TH AVN BN, USARV
Army of the United States
03 May 1940 - 10 June 1965
Panel 02E Line 006
The database page for Donald Russell Saegaert
My father was killed in a helicopter crash during the battle of Dong Xoai on June 10, 1965. As of 2001 his body has not been recovered along with the other six men who also died with him. If anyone might know any of the following men's family please contact me. Walter Hall, Joseph Compa, Craig Hagen, Bruce Johnson, Fred Owen and Robert Curlee. I was only 2 when he died but I want to thank all those men who have helped me learn about my dad through the Sons and Daughters In Touch program. God Bless You All!
From his daughter,
Dear Uncle Donald,
Notes from The Virtual Wall
A Special Forces camp was established at Dong Xoai, a district capital in Phuoc Long Province, in late May 1965. Dong Xoai lay astride a Viet Cong supply route from Cambodia into War Zone D. At about 11 PM on the night of 9 June, the SVN forces around Dong Xoai were attacked by the 762nd and 763rd VC Regiments. Beginning about 11:30 PM the camp came under heavy mortar and ground attack and was overrun.
South Vietnamese and US advisory relief forces were alerted. The first to arrive was an advisory team airlifted from Than Son Nhut, near Saigon. The team was aboard a UH-1B helicopter from the 118th Aviation Company. US personnel included
Captain Johnson, an advisor to the South Vietnamese Army's 5th Infantry Division, reported to another helicopter in the area that the UH-1B's crew and all others on board were dead and his position was receiving incoming enemy mortar fire. There was no further transmission from Captain Johnson after the end of the mortar fire. A later search of the area failed to produce any sign of the seven servicemen. Villagers stated that the Viet Cong had carried away the bodies of 7 Americans and had buried them.
Based on Captain Johnson's verbal report, the other six men were declared Killed in Action/Body not recovered. Captain Johnson himself was declared Missing in Action. On 27 Feb 1978, the Secretary of the Army issued a Presumptive Finding of Death for Bruce Johnson, who had been promoted to Lieutenant Colonel while in MIA status. As of 25 Dec 2003, the remains of the seven Americans have not been repatriated.
Top of Page|
With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 22 Dec 2001
Last updated 08/10/2009